Sometimes, the secret really is in the sauce. While many store-bought sauces contain dairy, additives, and preservatives, it’s easy to prep a dairy-free meal-making sauce at home.
Pesto is a crowd pleaser no matter what time of year. In the colder months, warming up some pesto to put over your favorite gluten-free grain, like quinoa or millet, or vegetable noodles can feel grounding and nourishing. For warmer months, use it on chilled salads as a dressing or as a veggie dip. I recommend making a big batch and having it in the fridge during the week for an easy healthy snack.
This vegan pesto packs a flavorful punch from fresh basil, garlic and lemon. Not to mention it’s also chock-full of antioxidants, magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin K and contains all of your macronutrients—protein, fat and fiber, which supports blood sugar balance and will keep you satiated.
Vegan pesto ingredients
Pumpkin seeds are full of important nutrients such as vitamin K, magnesium, iron, zinc and are also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. This is important when protecting against disease in the body. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to improve heart health, blood sugar levels, and sleep quality. They may even protect against certain types of cancer.
Basil also contains powerful antioxidants and is a potent anti-inflammatory herb. Incorporating foods in your diet that help reduce inflammation is imperative for optimal health. Basil also contains natural antibacterial properties so this is a great herb for the colder months when we need that extra boost for our immune system. Studies have also shown that basil can act as an adaptogen, an herbal medicine that helps the body adapt to stress.
Lemon and Garlic
Garlic and lemon are both important foods to incorporate into your diet especially in the colder months when we are more prone to get sick. Lemon is a great source of vitamin C, an important nutrient that’s known to increase immune health. Garlic’s antimicrobial and antiviral properties can help relieve the common cold as well as other infections.
Dairy-free basil pesto recipe
Makes 4 servings
• ½ cup pumpkin seeds
• 2 bunches of fresh basil
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• 1 large fresh garlic clove
• ¼ tsp salt
• 3 tbsp lemon juice add more if desired
• 2 tbsp Olive Oil
1. Soak the pumpkin seeds for 8 hours prior to making.
2. Remove basil leaves from stems, discard the stems.
3. Peel and chop garlic clove.
4. Juice 1-2 lemons, depending on size.
5. Add all ingredients into a food processor, stand mixer, or blender.
6. Mix until a thick green smooth paste forms.
7. Add additional liquid to blend, if needed.